A boy(3 years) I saw in a fun-fair was trying to play in mickey mouse bounce house(precisely speaking clambering a steep slope) suitable for kids older than him, say more than 5 years. I am trying to find a phrase which would mean that he did something which the older kids do because he was determined. I have heard of a phrase head and shoulders above his peers but that emphasizes that he is superior to his peers but I want a term which focuses on the equality between him and his seniors. Looking at him, we feel proud that as a young kid, he is doing really great and is equal to big kids playing with him.

3 Answers 3


It seems "he could keep up with older kids" would work.

Keep up: to manage to do as much or as well as other people



You could say he was holding his own among the big kids.

Hold your own (idiom):
(1) to ​maintain ​your ​position or ​condition ​despite ​difficulties
(2) to be as ​successful as other ​people or things in a ​situation
- http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/hold-your-own

Hold one's own
(1) be sufficiently competent in a certain situation; "He can hold his own in graduate school"
(2) maintain one's position and be in control of a situation
- http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hold+one%27s+own

  • @AndyT I'll remove it. It was marked as "American" in the references I checked, and I'm not familiar enough with British English to be sure. Oct 22, 2015 at 16:55

That guy was precocious.

Precocious is an adjective, an aberration, that person has attained certain traits at an earlier age than expected in general for his age..It is a neutral word,can be used for both in negative and positive sense..

  • Thanks but I was looking for a colloquial term and also essentially one which has a positive sentiment attached to it. :) Oct 22, 2015 at 16:34
  • Precocious is fine in colloquial speech. I also don’t recall hearing anyone using it negatively, except inasmuch as any positive word can be used negatively, as in “Oh, little miss perfect is so beautiful and smart and can do everything so well… God I hate her!”, where both perfect, beautiful, and smart, normally very positive words, are being used disparagingly and become negative in the context. That is of course possible with precocious, but barring that type of usage, it generally has quite a positive ring to it, I’d say. Oct 22, 2015 at 16:44
  • Other than in the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I don't think I have ever heard precocious used in a non-disparaging way. That said, I never knew its definition either.
    – AndyT
    Oct 23, 2015 at 8:56

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